You Need an Email Newsletter—Here’s How to Do It
After you set up your account with an ESP, you will want to set up and send an email newsletter to your email list. Here’s how, in 10 simple steps:
1. Look at the email templates available, and choose one that you like. Most email software provides hundreds of templates to choose from, so that you can easily have a professional-looking email newsletter in HTML format.
2. Create your own newsletter template or edit an existing one if you don’t like the pre-designed templates. Designing your own template requires no HTML knowledge, as the programs usually have a drag-and-drop interface for creating email templates.
3. Write an enticing and informative subject line. It needs to be enticing to give readers a reason to open it up and read it. At the same time, you will want to be informative enough so that the recipients know who and where this email is coming from. They decided to opt-in to your newsletter, so the subject line must communicate that this is coming from you or your company.
4. Set up the “from” name on your emails as well. This also will help your readers know where the email is coming from and ensure their comfort in opening it.
5. Add your company logo to the template you’ve selected, choosing colors and fonts that will match the message you are trying to communicate. The “mood” of your company needs to be conveyed in this design, whether it is formal and professional, or loose and fun.
6. Personalize the email to address the recipient directly using the ESP’s tools for doing so. This allows you to make the newsletter feel a bit more personalized instead of having a “mass email” feel. According to HubSpot, their customers see much greater open rates when they use the person’s first name in the subject line.
7. Integrate your social networks. Most email software allows you to include icons that will link to your Facebook page, Twitter profile, or LinkedIn page. This can widely expand your exposure to the reader. Social media sharing buttons can make your email marketing go viral. Experiment with taking the icons out as well, to see if they help or hurt conversion rates.
8. Import an existing email list from many different common databases for the software to address. Once this is done, you can group or segment subscribers into different categories to send separate and focused emails to each of them.
9. Once your newsletter is ready, preview it to make sure that everything is formatted and designed correctly. You also have the ability to test-send it to be sure that it is not blocked by spam filters.
10. You can then either send it right away or schedule it to be sent at a later time. Don’t obsess over the best time to send it, as you will hear conflicting recommendations. I personally like sending newsletters out on Tuesdays at 11 a.m., but I have heard some super-gurus say they get the best results on weekends when other people are afraid to send email newsletters. Test various times and days to see what actually works best for your customers. If you find more people opening and clicking links in your newsletter when they’re sent on Fridays than on Tuesdays, then go with Fridays, since that’s what works for your market.
Email marketing and lead nurturing are connected at the hip, and email can be used to nudge people through the stages of the buying cycle.